Be anxious for nothing and no one, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7.
And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. Matthew 13:22.
Today your LORD (יהוה) God says:
When I said, “Be anxious for nothing and no one, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” I meant it. I do not say things I don’t mean, and neither should you, but that is another topic altogether.
What is the primary ailment in modern society that is working havoc on My people? Anxiety and stress. And what is the cause? You never rest. You have stress because you never rest.
I knew this about you so I gave you Shabbat. You work, and then you need to close the door and rest.
And I do not just mean physical rest. You can lie in bed, sit in a chair, go to the beach, or numerous others forms of “leisure,” but if your soul is not at rest, you are not at rest. David once sang, “Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall still praise Him for the saving acts of His presence.” Psalm 42:5.
When I said “Be anxious for nothing and no one” that includes everything—your past sins, your health, whether you are doing My Will, your work at your job or in your home, your children, your spouse, your parents, your siblings, your studies, your finances, your failures, your physical appearance, your relationships, your reputation, others’ opinions of you, and I could go on and on. Now I did not say not to do anything about these things, I said NOT to worry, be anxious, stressed out and fearful about them. I have a lot to say in My Word to you about how to conduct yourself in all of these areas and if you hear and do My Word you will not have to be anxious about them. But people worry and are anxious about anything and everything, but I told you NOT to do that but to put all your cares on Me—in My hands—and I can handle them. And I handle them from My rest. Six days I worked and then I entered My rest, but I am at work even unto now, as Jesus told you, but I work from rest—not from stress. I sit on My throne and laugh at My enemies and so should you. You are seated there in Heavenly places with Christ with all things are beneath His feet and that is a place of rest.
My Kingdom is a busy place—no one ever slumbers or sleeps and it is always perfect day, but it is a place of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. Anxiety and stress are forms of oppression—they keep your body in constant fear and flight mode. Anxiety makes a dark cloud follow over your head so that you cannot walk in the light because your view is obscured by evil forebodings of failure, sickness, weakness, pain, financial failure, and the uncovering of your sins and inadequacies. But this is not what you learned in Christ, that is, if you learned the truth that is in Him.
Where My Spirit is there is liberty. There is freedom from fear and stress. Why? Because My Spirit testifies to and witnesses with your spirit that you are My beloved child, a joint heir with Christ, and that your sins and offenses (lawlessness) I remember NO MORE. That includes everything, even blatant disobedience. Just repent and move on. 1 John 1:9. I have forgiven you in Christ already and I will take care of everything in your life. I gave you My Son and I give you everything with and in Him.
So what is Shabbat? It merely means “rest” in Hebrew. But even though they kept a day of Shabbat each week, why did the Israelites I redeemed out of Egypt never enter My rest? The answer is anxiety and stress, which I also call unbelief, disobedience and hardness of heart. They whined all night and cried in fear when the spies who entered the Promised Land brought back a report of the giants they would face in the Promised Land. Anxiety kept them out of perfect rest. Do you understand? ANXIETY KEPT THEM OUT OF THEIR DESIRED END. Do you see why I tell you to be anxious for nothing? Anxiety will stop the very result from occurring that you are anxious to achieve, but fear will not happen.
So how do you spend Shabbat? You do something you enjoy that causes you no stress. People call those things “hobbies.” Some people like to read and relax late in bed, some like to play golf early in the day or other sports, some like to play music and dance, some like so spend the day with family and friends enjoying a meal or other family activities, and some like to spend the day in My Word and with believing friends at a celebration service. Spend the day enjoying Me and all the things I have given you. Just do not do anything that causes you stress so that you cannot rest. And that primarily concerns the occupation of your mind. If your mind, that is, your thoughts, won’t let you rest, nothing outwardly you do will be a rest for you. It will still hang over you and drive you into an early grave. Like it did the Israelites in the desert. Of that generation only Moses, Joshua and Caleb lived to full age.
So what do you do? Look at Jesus, the author and finisher of your faith, and see what He did. For if anyone had things to be anxious about, He did. What did He do that kept Him so at rest? He went alone with Me. He spent quality time in My presence early in the morning and sometimes all night. Like the eagle on a high rock lying full out in the sun renewing his feathers. “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait on the Lord will gain new strength. They will mount up with wings like eagles. They will run and not get tired. They will walk and not become weary.” Isaiah 40:28-31.
Jesus came away with Me and was transfigured. Then He came down to deal with the world and its demons.
May I ask you, do you ever go in your room, close the door, and put all your attention on Me? Or do you multitask while being with Me? I mean do you send emails, text, answer calls, spend time on social media, think about work assignments to your job and start pulling them up on your computer? Do you fellowship with your problem and not Me? I once accused the Israelites of coming to Me but spending the time on their own thoughts and pursuits which were contrary to Mine. If you come to Me with a prayer like Peter in the storm, “Lord, are you not concerned we are perishing?” That is not a prayer of faith or of love. It is an accusation that I do not care.
There is a time that you need to shut everything else out and look at Me and let Me minister to you and tell you why the things are happening that are and how to rectify them. If you will just wait on Me, I will renew your strength and take you up on eagle’s wings and carry you to Myself as My own special treasure.
David faced many battles and enemies and at times he felt his soul slipping into anxiety, it was then he would sing, “The LORD is my shepherd, I do not want. He makes me lie down (the word here means stretch out totally flat in total relaxation) in green pastures; He leads me beside restful waters of peace. He restores my soul.” Psalm 23:1-3. Do you see that? I make him rest and I restore his soul (mind, will and emotions). That is how David faced it all and came out victorious. He fought from My rest.
So what is the solution to stilling your anxious thoughts? Paul gave it to you and he had to practice it vigilantly for, you must admit, he could have been anxious about many things that were always coming against him: “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell (think) on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9. He took every thought captive to the obedience of Christ. So about your past, present and future—think on things that are lovely not ugly, excellent not below par, honorable not dishonorable, pure not impure, and worthy of praise. This will lead to gratitude and gratitude is rest. Praise is rest. Laughter is rest. Songs of joy are rest. Joy is freedom from anxiety and fear.
But let Me add a caveat to all this. If you are doing wicked things and being disobedient to My Word purposefully, such as living an immoral life of sexual sin, you cannot rest. There is NO rest for the wicked. They are tossed about like the waves of the sea. But shalom, shalom have those who have hearts and minds stayed on Me. If your heart is not right with Me and your neighbor, you cannot rest.
Get your heart right by coming to Jesus and obeying My Word—forgive, love, rejoice, bless, and be blessed. Let My goodness fill you and bring you to repentance. And then cast all the care of your life on Me and smile. “Look up at the LORD and smile and your face will never be ashamed.”
And now the crown of them all. Always remember the invitation of Jesus: “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” COME to Him, He will give you rest, and learn from Him and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. It is pleasant to live My Word all day every day and all night every night. And it will give you rest. Jesus is LORD of the Shabbat. He is your Shabbat. Everything in the Old Covenant was a shadow, but the substance is Christ.
I love you. Stop being performance based and be righteousness based. When you are established in righteousness, My righteousness that I give you as a free gift in Christ, you are far from oppression. In fact, when you receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness you reign in life through Christ Jesus. And reigning is not being anxious. And stop disliking people. That causes you stress. Ask Me to give you My heart towards them.